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Old 04-17-2017, 05:27 AM   #1
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Default Saving a Spot

Good evening,

I am in the research stage, and I have what is probably a newbie question.

When you are camping for multiple nights at a campground, what do you to reserve the spot when you are out for the day?

I imagine that my experience is going to involve a lot of days when I drive my van to various local attractions, then return to a home base at night. I am concerned that the spot I paid for at the start of my trip will have been snagged by another camper. I am also concerned that all the spots will be gone once I come back even though I am a paying guest.

Do you mark the spot, rely on the campground management to not rent it out, or something else? Is this a source of a lot of frustration for you, or not so much a big deal?

Getaway Mike
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:41 PM   #2
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I learned this the hard way. I share the same experience as mentioned on rv.net If you have a reserved sign and a traffic cone, it will be completely ignored. You will be lucky if you find it in a nearby culvert, otherwise it likely will make a one way trip to a dumpster.

I'm looking at a trailer myself. A Yakima Rack & Roll trailer seems almost ideal. It is compact enough to actually fit on the back of a "B" and be stashed vertically in a garage, while having enough presence, especially if chained down, to deter a claim jumper. Of course, a trailer isn't something I'd want on the road with me all the time, but if I know it is a first come/first served area, it provides a good marker that a site is reserved.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:50 PM   #3
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I use hazardous material tape:
https://www.amazon.com/Presco-Barric...+material+tape
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:00 PM   #4
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Also leaving out a pair of size 18 sneakers helps.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:51 PM   #5
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This past weekend, we were at a National Park Campground, complete with camp host and periodic park police patrols. Our neighbor had a little guy trailer and whenever they left camp, they put a wheel locking boot on the trailer. You might call it paranoid, but they seemed like seasoned campers.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:54 PM   #6
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I have a collapsable cone- never had a problem, never seen a problem.

as simple devices as beach towel on the table or chair in the parking spot will work



If you have a "spot" and have made payment, then it's the responsibility of whoever accepted payment to enforce

Mike
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:57 PM   #7
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I don't know where all you folks camp. We've been all over the country for 12 years now, and we've never worried about our campsite, and have NEVER had an issue--and we do a LOT of tourist day-trips from the campground. If there ever were a question, we've assumed that our receipt and a visit to the office would straighten it out. As I say, though, we have never had occasion to test that theory.

We don't do commercial campgrounds, so maybe that is where the problem lies?
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:24 PM   #8
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I'm with avanti. Not saying it doesn't, or can't happen, but in the over forty years I've been camping, I've never had anyone try to take any site I've paid for. I've just never worried about it.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:32 PM   #9
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We must be bad luck compared to others. We have had 3 episodes of problems.

We had a really nice mat stolen while at a provincial park in Canada. We were gone for about an hour with the van, and way ahead of check out time.

We had some kids grab all our stuff and throw it all over the place at a KOA while the van was there and we were on a hike.

We had a van full of people throw our blocks, mat, chairs, off into the weeds and move into our paid, reserved, spot in Custer State Park in South Dakota. The camp hosts had just stepped in when we got back to the site and they had to threaten to call the sheriff to get them to move. All they did was keep repeating "we want this spot so we won't leave".
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I like how your mind works.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:46 PM   #11
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It depends on the region and people. When it comes to security, it is always like the group running away from the grizzly. You don't have to be the fastest; just not the slowest. So, I like having enough security that gets the would-be perps to go elsewhere. For example, I stick a lock on the latch on my current trailer and padlock the X-chocks on the wheels. An angle grinder will make short work of both, but the guy with the tricked out trailer where I am parked who isn't using a lock at all will look more attractive.

I have not had bad luck camping, but I do know that if something is left out unattended and not secured, it can be considered a "ground score" by some, so I don't take chances.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:22 PM   #12
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Totally agree "depends on the region and people". I live California where budget shortfalls due to pensions and silly expenditures are forcing the release of criminals out of prisons, moving the costs of incarceration to cash strapped local cities and counties, and reclassifying some crimes as misdemeanors. In most of our larger cities and counties, police won't respond to thefts unless it was a kidney.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
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In most of our larger cities and counties, police won't respond to thefts unless it was a kidney.
And even if they recover your kidney, they'll insist on keeping it for evidence.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:27 PM   #14
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I would agree that there are areas where I wouldn't want to leave anything out, even if it is chained up or bolted down. However, I try my best to steer clear of those places, or if it is somewhere like that which is a must, I go in a group, so someone is watching the campsite.

However, most places tend to be decent. The only thing I've had stolen so far was a used sewage hose, in the years I've been doing RV-ing.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:11 AM   #15
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I've made several trips in my first year of B ownership. Have always stayed at
KOA's and have never had a issue with going out from the campground for a day and coming back to my reserved spot. The reservation process should prevent claim jumping, they have gates at the entrance and they almost always escort you to your assigned spot. That said I wouldn't be surprised to come back and find a Pickup or bike blocking my spot. Those class C and Trailer pullers carry way too much crap and take up every inch of their space. Takes them hours to set up- I'm done in 15 minutes!
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:39 AM   #16
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Do some states not issue assigned windshield tags for each spot in a state park?

Every state park in Texas produces thermal-printed labels bearing the site number and effective dates of stay. Really hard to argue with that; I've never seen any conflicts develop. If someone tried a strong-arm move, yes, the local authorities would be called.

Corps of Engineers campgrounds will go around in advance of arrivals and manually mark spots with "reserved" tags just in case anyone gets any ideas. Even if you have the spot for the current night, there'll often be a tag on there informing you of when the next campers are due to come in (i.e., don't get any ideas about trying to extend your stay).
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #17
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I've never had someone take my site in a private campground. Nor have I had any problems like that in US state parks.

I recall two issues in Provincial Parks in British Columbia:

1. We returned from a day trip to find someone set up in our paid for site. The park reps gave us a new site. I think the option was that we could have "our" site back if we wanted it.

2. Arrived for the first time at our reserved site to find someone set up on it. The park was kind of full with few good sites remaining so those folks had to move. One of the park employees sorted that out.

I think setting up a small cheap tent or a screen room would be a good way to show that the site is occupied. It might only be needed during high demand periods.

Edit: I'll just add that neither of the parties noted above would voluntarily move when asked. That's why we had to get park employees involved.
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:42 PM   #18
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Part of my RV-ing is a site from January to May on a renaissance faire participants area. However, people tend to move stakes and such, in order to get a choice site, or squeeze a tent with some friends in. Security is good at removing people who get too wild, but a sign or stakes and ribbon can wind up being "blown by the wind".

In lieu of a trailer, perhaps a toolchest secured in some fashion may work.

Texas parks are different. They know what they are doing there, so I wouldn't have to worry about people deciding to claim jump. The last thing anyone wants to do is honk off the park police, as they have statewide jurisdiction.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:05 PM   #19
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I leave my 40' diesel pusher in the spot, and go off playing in the Bvan.....
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:45 AM   #20
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I boondock most of the time and don't stay multiple nights anytime. But when I did stay in a campground for more than one night either the host directed me to a specific site or the entire campground was very empty and it really didn't matter.
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